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Intuit QuickBooks UK general manager Jolawn Victor onstage at QuickBooks Connect London 2023
Intuit QuickBooks

QuickBooks to roll out practice management, tax filing, and payroll bureau tools

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Intuit QuickBooks used its first UK conference in four years to announce a wave of releases intended to win over UK accountants, including new practice management, payroll bureau, tax prep and accounts filing tools, and revenue recognition enhancements to its Advanced software.

7th Mar 2023
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Speaking today at Intuit’s QuickBooks Connect 2023 conference in London, Jolawn Victor, vice president and general manager at Intuit UK, laid out the vendor’s vision for its UK account customers.

“We want you to use our tech to help grow your practice,” said Victor. “We want to work hand-in-hand with you to power your firm’s prosperity.”

Intuit QuickBooks’ UK product director Nick Williams then took to the stage to outline a raft of measures that the software giant believes will help its accountant partners grow – starting with background changes to increase the speed of QuickBooks, faster CIS return submissions, easier bank account connections and a multi-currency feature for its GoCardless integration.

Williams then moved on to a range of new products and innovations designed to give accountant partners more time and insights.

Intuit springs practice management surprise

In the week before the UK’s Spring Budget, the vendor had its own “rabbit out of the hat” moment with news that it is branching out into the world of practice management. 

Launching around June 2023, the new QB Practice Management tool will be an end-to-end platform designed to facilitate client onboarding, centralise client records, incorporate task management and ultimately lead to filing taxes through QuickBooks without exporting the data to third-party tools.

“We’re seeing demand across our accountants and bookkeepers, so we’ve created an environment that helps firms coordinate and manage their workflows, set deadlines, integrate with their emails, communicate with clients – in short, pull everything together,” Williams told AccountingWEB.

The practice management function will allow accountants to centralise client records, manage client interactions, and send automated tasks straight to client managers’ work queue as clients approach key task dates, from month-end reviews to VAT filings and year-end. It will also offer the ability for firms to align all tasks for each client in one place, enabling users to track and add tasks to the work queue automatically.

Firms can pull client data from Companies House, and via a partnership with best-of-breed provider XamaTech, the tool can also offer anti-money laundering checks.

Williams added that because of the integrations into clients’ books, QB Practice Management will give accounting professionals AI-driven insights into the health of their client books in real time.

The pricing of QB Practice Management has yet to be confirmed.

Books to Tax goes from theory to reality

As trailed at last year’s virtual QuickBooks Connect, the vendor has firmed up its commitment to expand its Workpapers or Trial Balance product to include Books to Tax, which will allow accountants to prepare, check and file annual accounts and corporation tax to Companies House and HMRC. 

Its first phase will be FRS 105 and CT600 forms for micro entities, with income tax as the next iteration – at an as-yet-unknown timeframe.

The Workpapers product is designed to gather and group documents together to simplify annual account preparation, and when combined with Books to Tax will enable accounting professionals to complete year-end accounts without needing to manually move data between systems.

The Books to Tax’s auditor feature also has an AI capability to automate the identification of errors or anomalies on CT600 forms.

Books to Tax is currently in the process of beta testing, for which QuickBooks’ accountant partners can sign up, with the first full version due in two or three months.

“We’ve created a simplified end-to-end platform that goes from capturing all information from QuickBooks Online into Workpapers to provide adjustments and financial statements, then our users can move into accounts production and corporation tax returns,” said Williams. “To connect it back to the practice management system, workflows can be mapped out, work can be assigned and then completed without having to leave the system and rely on third-party providers.”

QBO Books to Tax will be available for QuickBooks’ accountant partners for the foreseeable future, and included as part of the QBO for Accountants subscription price.

First cloud payroll product

QuickBooks also announced the imminent arrival of its first cloud payroll product, Bureau Payroll, which will provide multi-user access and automation features. 

Like QB Practice Manager, Bureau Payroll is specifically designed to be agnostic and work with other financial management software, allowing users to run all payroll clients regardless of which product they use for their bookkeeping.

“We’ve been proactively asking for feedback and acting on it,” said Williams, “and one thing we’ve been asked for time and again is a capability for our partners to put their payroll on autopilot.”

Bureau Payroll is available at an additional cost for a flat fee, which QuickBooks feels is cost-effective to run large volumes of payroll. The exact cost of this fee will be available closer to the time of release. The pilot for Bureau Payroll will be available in the next few months.

New functionality for QBO Advanced

For those catering to larger businesses, QuickBooks also announced updates to its QuickBooks Online (QBO) Advanced product. Launched in the UK last year, QBO Advanced targets those turning over £1m or £2m, typically with a small in-house finance team, sales ledgers and often a credit control element attached.

QBO Advanced’s new revenue recognition functionality supports accrual accounting by allowing users to automate the recognition of revenue on a monthly basis, even if they take a lump-sum payment for services that spread across the year, such as subscriptions.

Other tools have also been recently launched in QB Advanced, including a new Spreadsheet Sync function, which allows spreadsheet users to push data to and from QuickBooks, with built-in templates and automatic syncing; a batch transactions facility, which allows users to create, edit and delete sales receipts and invoices in bulk; and a chart view, which allows users to transform a custom report into a chart for greater insights through visual representations of complex data.

“As businesses grow, so does the complexity of their workflows,” added Williams. “That’s when we step in with QBO Advanced to automate workflows, sign-offs and offer great collaboration or coordination,”

ProAdviser Programme expands

QuickBooks also announced the expansion of its ProAdvisor Programme. Launched last week and available to accountant partners via their login screen, ProAdvisor ProSkills is designed to help accountants grow their QuickBooks knowledge, build their brand to attract and retain new clients, and showcase the latest enhancements in the product.

The programme has three modules: marketing, training and product. Once the accountant has linked to their firm, they complete three courses in each module to earn an accreditation badge to promote their success on their social media platform of choice. Members can also earn rewards by completing the modules and entering prize draws.

*7 March 2023: The article was amended to correct details of the QB Practice Management price

Replies (16)

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By Catherine Newman
07th Mar 2023 11:26

This seems too late. I have already bought my payroll with Qtac for 2023/24. I will be renewing my PTP at the end of April. The launch should be before the start of a new tax year.

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Replying to Catherine Newman:
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By Ian McTernan CTA
07th Mar 2023 13:50

There is never an ideal time to launch: most subscription models (IRIS a prime example of tie ins) require you to have given notice well before they tell you what this year's massive increase is...

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By ireallyshouldknowthisbut
07th Mar 2023 12:00

Why are software firms all obsessed with knocking out whole suites of "meh" software?

Xero tried this...............and not seen anyone on here recommend it. I tried it last year and was deeply underwhelmed and not been back to it since.

Surely if they just concentrated on their core product and make that better that is better than having endless 'me too' products which are inevitably inferior to everything else on the market, rather than try and be a jack of all trades.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
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By ABC12
07th Mar 2023 13:49

"Master of none" certainly applies in these cases

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Should Be Working ... not playing with the car
By should_be_working
08th Mar 2023 16:44

"... if they just concentrated on their core product ..."

Quite. Having used QB once for one year, and having just had my last QB client give up on it, I'm no fan of the core product so I wouldn't touch the rest of the suite with a bargepole.

(Others' experiences may differ of course).

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Replying to should_be_working:
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By Thysb
09th Mar 2023 10:35

We (accounting practice in South Africa) have about 50 clients using QuickBooks Online, of which many are done by our inhouse bookkeepers. Being on QB since mid 2020 when Covid lockdown forced us to go the cloud route and, after investigations, decided on QB. No complaints from our side.

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Replying to ireallyshouldknowthisbut:
Pile of Stones
By Beach Accountancy
09th Mar 2023 11:58

I emailed Xero's CEO with exactly that sentiment last night

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By D V Fields
07th Mar 2023 12:23

Dream on. Hope they didn’t spend too much money on it.

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John Toon
By John Toon
08th Mar 2023 18:06

Congrats to Celso and the Pixie team for getting this deal across the line to provide QBOs PM solution on a white labelled basis.

For anyone that doesn't know Keypay power QBO payroll.

Whether this will be implemented well I don't know. As others have said this has been tried and failed by others. The problem with XPM, for example, is it dominates it's home market, with reasonable integrations, as a result of early adoption. In comparison with other products in the UK though it's rock bottom, needs a significant amount of investment and development, and is an object lesson in not assuming a product will have universal appeal and adoption

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By pstrangward
09th Mar 2023 10:55

I'm totally committed to Quickbooks but use the complete Thomson Reuters Digita integrated suite for practice management through accounts prep & filing, self assessment, company secretarial etc. It costs a lot for a small practice but is excellent. Unless what QB offer can replace all of that it will be very difficult to migrate.

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Replying to pstrangward:
John Toon
By John Toon
09th Mar 2023 11:45

Interesting POV. In my experience Digita is the most sub-optimal of the 3 main suites available to practices. Co Sec is poor and not a patch on Inform Direct, AP and tax products are capable but others are more intuitive and better integrated with Companies House or e-signing apps for example, PM is average at best and most practices don't take PM Advanced which is a good product, but has features provided as standard by others.

Biggest issue for a suite though is none of the SQL tables match properly with other products in the suite - you'll notice this particularly in Co Sec where addresses are 3 lines compared to PM which allows 4 lines. This is a consequence of the products having been bought in and not properly integrated and it's a major frustration as you end up with a lack of data integrity across the suite.

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Replying to johnt27:
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By pstrangward
09th Mar 2023 14:30

I bow to your more comprehensive knowledge other than to say that having invested time and money in Digita it covers all my requirements and I haven't got the time or will to look for alternatives. Because I'm also so invested in QB there could be attractions in getting it all under one roof. Alternatively it would be nice if Digita would just connect with QB like I believe it does with Xero.

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By Self-Employed and Happy
09th Mar 2023 11:20

99% of our clients are on QBs, we love it (overall).

BUT

1) Payroll, that just isn't happening. We use Brightpay, a far superior product for a smaller cost, yes we have to export date for each client each month to QBs but (for now) it does link the two softwares.

My fear will be as they all go off in their own directions then links between these softwares will start to disappear thus leaving us with less choice rather than picking different software that works for our needs best.

2) Accounts / CT Filing - potentially might look to see if we can test this on a few smaller simple clients to see how it works but I would fear (based on the payroll) that it will be far more costly than the software we use currently where we just buy the amount of licenses we need.

I have said for probably 10 years this is where it is headed and to some degree I am all for an all in one solution from bookkeeping to submission, the problem is you will need to drill down and find out what softwares are better at what elements that are important to you / best efficiency, does anyone have the time to do that?

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By JD
09th Mar 2023 13:23

It would be helpful if they (I include the other cloud packages) could make their mind up. Do they want to be a book-keeping tool for clients, or an accountants tool for internal use.

Straddling both camps, with adverts that misrepresent what the software can do and general total lack of respect for the accountancy profession, whilst offering shiny new tools to keep accountants sweet, and extracting fortunes via their subscription model from both, is really not the way to win friends - It is a shame that the profession seems to be allowing it to happen.

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By Rgab1947
09th Mar 2023 14:17

Well QB introduced Workpapers. Liked it then. When I generated the reports all headings were based on calendar year not the companies financial year. So a Feb 2021 yearend would show as 2020 with prior year as 2019.

So a mind swift needed if reading the reports with checking what financial year it is.

Reported it to QB. The guy who worked on it with the developers was surprised but agreed the wrong source date was used. Nothing done about it although the whole QB team agreed it was an developers error.

So I did not use it.

So dont hold out much hope for their practice management add-ins.

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Replying to Rgab1947:
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By Self-Employed and Happy
09th Mar 2023 18:16

That doesn't surprise me, I had an argument with them when the Reverse Charge for CIS came in, they didn't do testing like Xero did, they released it two weeks late so people couldn't raise invoices, within 2 minutes I "broke it" testing to make sure it did everything I needed it to for my clients.

Call 1: Rang QBs advisor didn't understand, put me on hold, hung up

Call 2: Same again

Call 3: Advisor, put me on hold and spoke to their design team, told me it's working exactly as was designed, upon saying either they've designed it wrong or their advisors haven't translated the HMRC Guidance correctly I was hung up on.

Call 4: (This is all within 30 minutes of them releasing the update), back through to speaking to the design team via an advisor "yes we agree it is wrong per the guidance link you have sent through, HMRC recently updated the guidance and we'll fix this as soon as we can"

This led to me on the phone to the advisor saying "b*llocks, the guidance has been the same for 7 months, look at the top of the link I sent you, every time HMRC update guidance the date at the top changes to the last updated date"

They swiftly hung up again, I was so [***] off at that exact moment I was ready to throw QBs away, but I just had to remember that at the time and I still think overall now (just) it is the best product of the big three.

Safe to say I was seething for days!

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